The news about Kherson has been one of the most significant wins for the Ukrainian Army, and now that NASAMS have been delivered to their forces, it’s just a matter of time before they can fully dominate the air battle against Russia. In new research, the Ukrainians were shown using the Buk air defense missiles, the missile that was used to shoot down the Malaysian Airlines Flight MH17 in 2014.

The Buk Missile system is a soviet-era defense system developed to replace the old Kub. Its official designation is the “9K37,” with a reporting name of SA-11 or “Gadfly.” The Kub Missile first entered service in 1980 with the Soviet Army. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, the Buk was distributed to other countries like Egypt, Finland, Cyprus, Belarus, Georgia, India, Vietnam, North Korea, and Venezuela.

The Buk fires the 9M38 missiles and is a single-stage solid-fuel missile. It’s quite similar to US-made Tartar and the Navy’s standard air defense missiles. It has semi-active radar guidance, which is excellent for mid-range combat. It can attack targets at a range of 3.4-20.5 km. The maximum engagement altitude is about 25 km, with a hit probability of 70-93%.

Reports from the Royal United Services Institute confirmed the blasts from the Buk targeting Russian fighter jets. In their interview with key Ukrainian officials, they summarized comprehensive research about the Russians’ aerial combat operations and found out that Buk Missiles (together with S-300s) were instrumental in fighting Russian jets and E-96M aerial decoys that were disrupting Ukrainian GBAD.

“The physical destruction, along with the electronic disruption and suppression of SAM systems in the north and northeast, left the Mikoyan Mig-29 and Sukhoi Su-27 fighters of the Ukrainian Air Force with the task of providing air defence over most of the country for the first few days of the war. The Ukrainian air defenses progressively recovered as jammed and damaged radar systems were reset and assets were rapidly repositioned…”

Their research also confirmed how the Buk Missiles were deployed to provide an effective defense against Russians’ attack on key Ukrainian cities and facilities in March and April. However, there were more powerful ballistic missiles that made more of a dent during the confrontation.

“The SA-11 ‘Buk’ SAM systems provided the bulk of the anti-aircraft threat near the frontlines to keep Russian fast jets and helicopters flying low or further back behind Russian lines. The long-range S-300PS/PT and S-300V1 SAM systems are more capable against cruise missiles and the Tochka-U ballistic missiles than the SA-11, and provide coverage over a wider area.”